Nobles County Commissioners Notes October 20, 2020

The Nobles County Commissioners met on Tuesday, October 20 in Council Chambers and using Zoom.  The Pledge of Allegiance was said.

As part of the consent agenda, the contract with Des Moines Valley Health and Human Services needed to be renewed.  The only changes were dates.  DVHHS handles the grant funds which supports the Health Educator position employed by Nobles County.   The contract renewal was approved.

Stephen Schneider was first on the agenda.  The bituminous paving bid was delayed for 2020 and will be combined with projects for 2021.  Schneider was seeking permission to open the bidding now in 2020.  He is hoping that having a larger project should result in more bidders and a lower price.  It also will prevent the loss of municipal construction funding due to having too large a fund balance at the end of the year.  Permission was granted for opening the bids on November 18.

Schneider informed the Board that Judicial Ditch 12 was in need of having 1000 feet of tile repaired as it has rotted.  The cost will be $18/foot and $400 per branch line (there are two), making the project cost approximately $18,800.  There is not enough money in the ditch system fund right now, but with 2nd half of taxes due and a credit for ditch cleanup that has not been put into the fund yet, there will be money to cover it.  The Commissioners felt it was something that had to be done before freezing.  The cost would be brought to Murray County as the ditch is maintained by both Counties.  Motion carried.

Schneider informed the Commissioners that one county bridge in Bigelow and one in Olney Townships would need repairs in 2021 and gravel work on county roads would be ready to go.  He was given the ok to go ahead and begin to get bids to be ready for work when possible in 2021.

Stacie Golombiecki requested funding for a social worker to accompany a minor child for reunification with family members out of state.  Request approved.

County Attorney Joe Sanow asked permission to hire an fill time assistant attorney.  Request was approved.

Valerie Ruesch, County Assessor requested reappointment for another 4 year term for her position.  She has served 32 years with the County, the last five years as Assessor.  The Council reappointed her as County Assessor.

Auditor-Treasurer Joyce Jacobs informed the Board that she has an employee who will retire on October 30 from the Licensing Center.  She is asking to replace this person, but not until after MnDrive is up and running-sometime in November.  She reminded everyone that the License Center will be closed November 10,11,12 to change to MnDrive.   The Board approved her request asking that the possibility of a bi-lingual person be considered.

County Recorder Thelma Yager asked the Commissioners to extend the agreement with Hunter Heitkamp for approximately 60 days so he could complete the work of digitalizing plat maps that he as been working on all summer.  Approved.

Tom Johnson brought the Commissioners up to date on the Data Center remodel.  He said they would be in the new center by Thanksgiving.  He was requesting approval of a change order that would amount to $2303.92.  The change order was electrical and was approved.

The Lidar Flight Imagery Acquisition with the MnGEO Consortium had been discussed a couple of months ago.  Bruce Heitkamp informed the Board that the consortium was officially planning a Lidar imagery flight for spring, 2021-not guaranteed, but will happen 2021 or 2022.  The estimate to Nobles County would be 30%-40% of what the original cost was estimated to be.  732 square mile would be imaged at $400/mile.  This imagery will provide information needs beyond City limits and will be continuous because of using only one company.  The Commissioners approved Nobles County as a funding partner in the consortium.

The CARES Act funding was discussed.  All cities except Adrian and Bigelow have joint power agreements with the County and the City of Worthington for the disbursement of the funds.  It was requested to form a sub-committee with two Commissioners and two Worthington City Council members, to get the funds distributed as quickly as possible.  The County will make one final push to get the money to businesses that need it.  It was discussed that there may be a possible extension to the program.

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